by Joni Astrup
Financial details have now been worked out if the city of Elk River decides to proceed with the purchase of Bailey Point for a park.
An independent appraiser has set the value of the 23-acre parcel at $99,150.
If the city gets a grant and agrees to proceed with the purchase, the city would pay $59,871 and the grant would cover $39,279.
The Elk River City Council agreed to the funding scenario after a discussion Aug. 1.
Bailey Point is located west of downtown Elk River, at the confluence of the Elk and Mississippi rivers.
The city doesn’t know yet if it will get the grant for Bailey Point. But the City Council considered a financing option now to clear up a problem that has made the city ineligible for state and federal park grants.
The problem was inadvertently created by the construction of the Elk River Boys & Girls Club years ago at Lions Park.
The city had received state grants for Lions Park, which required the city to retain all lands within the park boundaries for outdoor recreation.
The city inadvertently violated the grant agreements when it allowed the Boys & Girls Club to build its facility in Lions Park.
The club converts approximately 12,870 square feet of park land to non-recreation use, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR). To remedy that, the city must acquire replacement park land worth at least as much as the converted land at Lions Park, which is valued at $20,592.
Until the city does this, it is not eligible to receive a grant for Bailey Point or other state or federal park grants, according to Interim City Administrator Bob Thistle.
Under the funding scenario agreed to by the City Council, part of the Bailey Point purchase would be used to replace the converted land at Lions Park.
Without that arrangement, the city would be eligible for a 50 percent matching grant for Bailey Point, or $49,575. But by using $20,592 of the appraised value of Bailey Point to mitigate the Lions Park issue, the remaining appraised value of $78,558 would be eligible for a 50 percent grant of $39,279, according to the DNR. That’s how the funding scenario was determined that would have the city paying $59,871 of the cost of Bailey Point.
If the Bailey Point grant falls through or the city decides not to buy the land, the city will have to come up with another way to take care of the Lions Park issue.
by Joni Astrup